Trip to South Africa, Part 7 – Leaving the Bush

I slept in late on Wednesday morning. Partly from being so tired from the night before and partly because I was avoiding Rob and Andrew. After I packed up my stuff last night, I ran into an ex-Zimbabwean named Wayne who had been living in the UK for the last ten years. We had a lot in common and hit it off immediately. He had a mate out by the pool (it was well past 1:30 am at this point) who was apparently “chatting up some bird” with a box of wine.

(Once on a drip of pethidine – I can’t believe my spell check has pethidine in it – in the hospital, I dreamed a dream based on some Poe short story about balloons to the moon. When I awoke, my college mates Patrick and Jess sat a my bed-side, yearning for my recovery. I don’t remember this, but apparently I had asked them what they had done that weekend. They had responded something to the effect of “Oh it was great, we went to the beach and had a few boxes of wine.” It was my response that I was forever mocked as a pethidine snob (as well as a boy’s school Illovo snob), by being completely shocked that wine actually came in a box. )

Back to the English-Zimbabwean. We talked for a while and I let him use my laptop to check his email, bank balance, etc, while we discussed soccer scores and box wine. Eventually, his half blasted mate came and collected us and we joined him out side, where we were greeted by three girls, two white South Africans and one black Englishwoman. Everyone was clearly plonked and Simon (the wild eyed English mate of Wayne’s) was obviously keen on the English girl. It also appeared that we had been promised to her friends, the to South Jo’Burg boskats (Bush Cats). We were all drunk and getting on well when the one girl told me that she had dreamt about me and had a vision that we were going to be married and have two children (whose names I cannot remember right now) and then I was going to cheat on her with some tennis pro. Clearly out of her mind, I though that this would be a good time to head back, before I got axe-murdered or Bobbit-ed. The girls took this as a sign to encourage us to stay by removing their clothing and getting into the pool. Simon looked like a dog who had been given steak and steak for breakfast and de-togged faster than a Chip’n Dale and dived in. Wayne gave me a look which I’ve seen from animals in the road at night. I thanked him for the wine, wished him well for the night and made a dash for the hill. The creepiest thing was not that I thought that I loved my girlfriend too much to even turn around and look (although it was a factor), nor was it the effect that the ambeint temperature had had on Simon’s “tackel-out” attire, but rather the two stoic security guards standing at the main entrance to the pool the whole night. We had ignored them because they hadn’t said one word the whole night, until they said “Goodnight Boss” as I scurried past.

The following morning Rob and I made up, which felt good and meant that we at least understood each others’ breaking points a little better. Like two stupid rhinos, we both had to walk away a little embarrassed, but it was for the best. We spent the day getting in some deep down relaxation. Partly because it was such a nice day, and partly because we had run out of Internet time. I had now moved on to my Ryan Giggs autobiography, and spent a large portion of the day in the bath, by the pool and at the bar plowing through it. Having the energy to read actually requires not being completely wiped out from work and the other side helpings of life. We used the day to organize Thursday’s activities and to get some laundry done. We finished it off with a fantastic Indian curry dinner. That left time for one more bath and book before bed.

Rob and I had planned a morning game drive, while Andrew had been content to sleep in. So we were out the door by six thirty and back in the park, freezing our asses off again. This time we had come a little bit better prepared however with gloves and coats and hats. Our tour was not as exclusive as the first, with other six Americans and two Englishmen who slept though part of the drive and made quirky jokes the rest of it. Three of the Americans were a fully camo-outfitted family. Dad was kitted out in his hunting gear, mom in a fluffy cammo hoodie and stylish cammo boots, while their girl of around 13 wore a full length, plush wool leopard spotted poncho. I seriously couldn’t make this up if I tried. Mom and dad used a lot of swat team style hand gestures to each other whenever they saw an animal, and they gave me the creeps. Almost as bad were the older yank couple up front, who wanted to know what every tree and bird the saw was, and each time they would see anything move would YELL, “Oh gosh, look at that _____ over there, isn’t that just amazing? Frank pass me the camera, oh gosh!” Even Rob got a little freaked out. The drive was good, and we drove through large herds of impala and springbok, as well as an entire herd of elephant that was actually a little unnerving, especially when two young males started playing roughhouse right in front of the truck. When you have a couple of elephant in the road you can’t simply toot your horn (hooter here) and scare ’em off. It’s pretty  much their road until they’re done with it. The drive actually went close to an hour longer than expected due to the traffic problem.

Rob and I warmed up with a Wimpy breakfast and coffee, then we went back and found Andrew watching TV at the house. I took a nap and woke up in time for our next stupid thing to try. Rob had discovered that the worlds longest zipline is right here in the Pilanesberg. It’s over two kilometers long and around 300 meters high, with your top speed hitting around 100 miles an hour. So of course we had to try it. It was pretty freaking awesome, and the only time nerves played into it was when you are first strapped in and you’re looking down the mountain while the crew do your safety checks. After that, it’s as close to flying as you’re going to get without jumping out of a plane. Beer was bought at the bottom, and then it was off to find food.

We found an African Style Buffet, which meant that they served South African favorites, made well, and in huge quantities. I think that I’m going to gain at least 10-15 pounds from traveling with Rob. The meal was fantastic however, but trying to walk afterward was much more difficult that it should have been. We waddled up to the Sun City cinema to watch Iron Man 2, which we all enjoyed partly due to great special effects, partly our elevated moods, and largely because of Scarlett Johansson as a brunette. Tomorrow we would have to pack up our belongings and be out by 10 am, back to Jo’Burg to try and get a hold of our tickets and avoid being hijacked.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply